Shostack + Friends Blog


The Evergreen Running Aground Problem

The Evergreen line has had another ship run aground. The US Coast Guard approaches a grounded Evergreen ship

"🎶 Ooops. I did it again..." The Ever Forward has run aground in Chesapeake Bay, mirroring the problem with its fellow Evergreen Marine ship the Ever Given, which blocked the Suez canal last year. And while I passionately want to laugh, I have a very serious question.

Ten companies, of which Evergreen is one, control roughly 75% of global container shipping. (Global Trade magazine.) Evergreen has suffered two newsworthy accidents in a year, the others have suffered none. I'm not going to commit the statistical sin of computing on small cherry-picked data, but this strike me as surprising and unusual, and begs the question: Is something wrong with Evergreen, or is this bad luck?

Fortunately, I don't have to answer that. But if I did, I wouldn't want to take Evergreen's word for it. I'd want an independent investigator who can analyze what's happened, what contributing factors might exist, and make a report available. Also fortunately, we have just such a body for transportation accidents: The National Transportation Safety Board. I look forward to the day when we have a computer security equivallent.